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Access Fund Presents Its 2008 Awards

Submitted by admin on 2009-01-21

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by Holly Stewart

Each year the Access Fund recognizes individuals and businesses that volunteer their time and efforts to preserving climbing access and the climbing environment. These recipients stand out in their commitment to the American climbing community, and we are honored to present this year’s awards to a worthy group of volunteers and activists.

Bebie Leadership Award – Steve Johnson

The Access Fund is proud to present the Bebie Leadership Award, honoring America’s outstanding activist for the cause of preserving climbing access and the climbing environment, to Steve Johnson for his leadership – and his extraordinary perseverance – in the fight to open Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride, Colorado. Steve has been working to open the falls for nearly two decades, and while there have been some victories during that time, the falls have been closed for the majority of it. The recent agreement reached between Idarado Mining and the Trust for Public Land was possible, in part, because of Steve’s long history of climbing advocacy. Steve, a lawyer by trade, was also instrumental in the recent acquisition of Mother’s Buttress in Unaweep Canyon, donating all of the necessary legal work. To quote Steve, “To me climbing access work was one way to achieve distinction and give back to the sport. First opening Bridal Veil Falls meant about as much to me as finally climbing it. I’ve had many climbers thank me for my efforts, and to me that’s what it’s all about.”

Reese Martin Award – Brian Poulsen

The Access Fund honors Brian Poulsen with the Reese Martin Award for his outstanding leadership and activism in preserving climbing access and the climbing environment and for his tireless volunteer work as an Access Fund Regional Coordinator in California. Founding member of CRAGS (Climbing Resource Advocates for Greater Sacramento), Brian has spent dozens of hours working with local climbers and state land managers in an effort to reopen access to the quarry at Auburn State Recreation Area. Brian has also volunteered his time to advocate for climbing access to Tuolumne Meadows at National Park Service planning meetings in Yosemite.

Sharp End Awards:
The Access Fund is proud to honor the following recipients for their outstanding leadership and activism in preserving climbing access and the climbing environment:

Jonah Harrison, AF Regional Coordinator in Washington State

Jonah’s work with the Washington Climbers Coalition has been instrumental in protecting bouldering access at Gold Bar, and reopening new-route development in the Skagit River Gorge near Newhalem. Jonah also spearheaded, along with the Washington Trails Association and Wilderness Society, a TeamWorks project that harnessed the energies of the Vertical World Climbing Team in Seattle to build a climbing access trail to new, high-quality crags at Newhalem.

Cameron Cross, Founder and President of the Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition

Cameron has worked tirelessly to alleviate tensions between climbers, park affiliates and land proprietors in many Colorado climbing areas, including Mt. Evans, the Poudre, Rocky Mountain National Park, Carter Lake, and Arthur’s Rock. He has also been the main organizer of the Horsetooth Hang, a Fort Collins bouldering festival that consists of costumes, competition and clean-up.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS)

Future Consciousness is Eastern Mountain Sports’ company-wide commitment to conservation and responsible outdoor recreation. Over the past two years, the Access Fund has witnessed this commitment in the outdoor clean-up projects organized at Eastern Mountain Sports’ corporate office and in 65+ retail stores. In addition to consistently supporting the Conservation Alliance, the Outdoor Industry Foundation, and the American Hiking Society, Eastern Mountain Sports has also donated a portion of key sales events to the Access Fund. In recognition of all the great work being done in the name of Future Consciousness, the Access Fund is proud to present Eastern Mountain Sports with our Sharp End Award.

About the Access Fund
Since 1991, the Access Fund has been the only national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. The Access Fund supports and represents over 1.6 million climbers nationwide in ALL forms of climbing; rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Five core programs support the mission on national and local levels: public policy, stewardship & conservation (including grants), grassroots activism, climber education, and land acquisition. For more information visit


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